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Fantasy Football Warning Signals For Week 5: Amari Cooper, Christian McCaffrey, and More

Amari Cooper - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

How is your fantasy team doing? It is still early whether you are 2-2, 4-0, or even 0-4. Hopefully, counting on Matthew Stafford or Jonathan Taylor didn't destroy you. While we can't do anything about injuries, we can try to predict who will have a good week and who will not. You are counting on your lineup decisions to lead to your fantasy team's success.

Monitoring the matchups to make sure there are no warning signals is vital to your success. Key players can have problems depending on their matchups. We cannot ignore the warning signals of bad matchups. If we keep rostering underperforming players, it will end up with more losses than wins, and nobody wants that.

Here is a look at some players you should think twice about putting in your lineup in Week 5.

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Quarterback Concerns - Sit 'Em for Week 5?

Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints

The good news is that you should pick up Smith and stash him away for matchups that are not the New Orleans Saints. Smith currently leads the NFL in 77.3% of completion percentage. He ranks 12th in passing yards and 11th in points. He also has 17 rushes ranking 10th among all quarterbacks.

His only "bump" came in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers. In that game, he went 24-of-30 for 197 passing yards and one interception. He also had two carries for two yards. The 49ers are second in opponent passing yards allowed.

This week's opponents, the Saints, rank ninth in passing yards allowed (203.5), are 12th in passing attempts allowed (32.8), and have allowed only 19 completions per game (fifth).

Smith is good. This week, there are better options though.

What To Do

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs. Washington

It is true Tannehill has not eclipsed 275 passing yards in four games. He has thrown five touchdowns and three interceptions. His most passing attempts were in Week 1 against the New York Giants (33).

Tannehill has a 75% completion rate in the last two games with four touchdowns and one interception. He has passed for 401 yards on 48 pass attempts.

While he will most likely be without the services of rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks (turf toe) this week, that won't hamper Tannehill's production. Burks only accounted for a 16% target share and was on the field for 51.6% of the offensive snaps. Tannehill has most recently counted on tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo, wide receiver Robert Woods and (gasp), and running back Derrick Henry. Tannehill is a streaming option and is rostered in 17% of Yahoo leagues.

It also helps that the Titans play Washington. They are allowing 259.8 passing yards per game (24th) and giving up the seventh-most fantasy points to the quarterback position (25.5). Washington has the second-lowest hurry rate of any team. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging a 105.2 passer rating against them.


Running Back Concerns - Sit 'Em for Week 5?

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers vs. San Francisco 49ers

It isn't just that the Carolina offense isn't very good. It is that the 49ers' defense is exceptionally good. Their run defense allows only 2.8 yards per reception and 78.7 rushing yards per game.

The fault doesn't lie with McCaffrey. Last week, McCaffrey had only eight rushing attempts for 27 yards. He was targeted nine times for 81 receiving yards and a touchdown, but that was his only second touchdown in four games.

The Panthers' offense is last in plays per game (53.5), 27th in rushing attempts per game (21.5), and 30th in passing yards per game (166).

Quarterback Baker Mayfield has a 54.7% completion percentage and 6.4 yards per attempt. He is 28th in catchable pass rate (62.4%), 32nd in QBR (15.3), and his EPA is -18.1.

McCaffrey is a stud. But it is best to look elsewhere this week as he is playing against an exceptionally good defense while being on an exceptionally bad offense.

What To Do

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans

The backfield duo in Jacksonville is not really in a timeshare. It is Robinson's backfield. Robinson is on the field for a 56% snap share and has 14 red zone touches. Last week against a really good Philadelphia Eagles defense, he had eight carries and zero targets for 29 yards. That was a complete outlier, and the Eagles' defense is that good.

Previously, he had at least one touchdown in each of the three games and was targeted at least twice in the three previous games.

Houston's defense is nowhere near as good as Philadelphia's. Houston allows opposing running backs 5.1 yards per reception and 172 rushing yards per game. They also give up the most fantasy points per game to the running back position (25.5).


Wide Receiver Concerns - Sit 'Em for Week 5?

Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns vs. Los Angeles Chargers

It isn't just that J.C. Jackson will shadow Cooper. It is that Cooper's output has greatly reduced in the last three games. While his snap share has increased, his targets and route running have decreased.

  • Week 1 vs. Carolina Panthers - 79.5% snap share, six targets, 27 routes
  • Week 2 vs. New York Jets - 86.9% snap share, 10 targets, 19 routes
  • Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers - 81.7% snap share, 11 targets, 28 routes
  • Week 4 vs. Atlanta Falcons - 100% snap share, four targets, one route

His fantasy points went from 4.7, 25.1, 23.1, and 1.9, respectively. Cooper is a boom or bust candidate. With Jackson shadowing him this week, he leans more towards the bust.

What To Do

Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks

Olave has 36 targets in four games. Last week with Andy Dalton under center, he was targeted seven times for 67 yards and a touchdown. The week before, with Jameis Winston under center, he was targeted 13 times for nine receptions and 147 yards. Olave is quarterback-proof.

While all the talk is about Geno Smith and the Seattle offense, the defense is getting away with being a sieve. Seattle is giving up 274 passing yards per game, and they just allowed Jared Goff to torch them for 378 passing yards and four touchdowns on 39 attempts.

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